Baby Time customers go to Baby O

Before the showOne of the post-earthquake jokes that has been circulating is: You know you’re from Christchurch when there are university students congregating in your street and no-one is calling the police. University students are now synonymous with good works and schemes. And Christchurch City Libraries’ customers have been the happy recipient of a good deed from the tertiary fairy godmothers.

Eighteen lucky library customers were able to attend Baby Opera at the Christchurch Arts Festival last Sunday thanks to the fundraising of some University of Canterbury students. As part of their Management paper, the students had to arrange a community event that benefits people affected by the earthquake. Atawhai Murray, the project leader, decided it would be nice to send some library customers to the Scottish opera session at the Festival.

Funds were obtained from a local church trust and other sponsors. They went towards tickets, a Te Reo handbook and a shoebox of love. A prize draw was held at each Baby Time session around the library network. Margaret Clune from our Events team was pleased to be able to offer such a positive gesture to customers, and worked hard to distribute entry forms and inform each lucky winner of their success.

There were many fathers attending with their children, making it a special Father’s Day occasion. Comments were glowing and many spoke of the wonderful blend of fun and learning. A mother of three said it was lovely to see something new and fresh for little ones.

Some of our Children’s Librarians were also able to attend as part of their professional development,  and they reported that it was very interactive and perfectly targeted for babies. It also gives parents good ideas of things they can do themselves at home. Customers were given a take home pack with a CD.

More for babies and young children

Despite some libraries being closed, there are still at least twenty free Baby and Story Time sessions being offered. The Families Outreach librarian is offering weekly sessions at several locations in Sumner and  arrangements are being made to offer sessions at South City Mall. Baby Time  caters to under twos. It has age-appropriate songs and activities, taken by highly trained library staff.

Story Times incorporates more early literacy activities and prepares children to read, while still offering lots of songs and fun.

The library website offers plenty of good advice for parents of young children and if your child is about to turn four years old visit any library and pick up your free Ready for reading birthday pack.

Operation Storytime: The tales must get through!

Tania Gibson hosts Storytime in the Burnside High School shelterNZ Post is getting the mail through despite the earthquake – and the same spirit has been shown by the Christchurch City Libraries’ Outreach team.
For the last week, our wonderful storytellers have been zooming around the emergency shelters at Burnside High, Rangiora Baptist  and Pioneer Leisure Centre bringing songs, stories and rhymes to the children of Christchurch. Nothing helps to soothe the shattered nerves of little ones more than a happy tale or a silly ditty.

Our Outreach staff are trained librarians with special skills and experience in working with children. They love books and share that love with anyone who will listen!

One member of the team specialises in Families Outreach – so if you have a group of any kind that would like a visit from a library storyteller just pick up the phone.

Another specialises in Pre-school Outreach, so if you are a centre in need, ring to discuss your requirements.

Christchurch City Libraries also runs weekly Baby Time and Story Time sessions at most libraries. Due to the earthquake there will be some disruption to our regular schedule, but we will be endeavouring to run our usual sessions as each library opens to the public.

Lynette Griffiths about to start StoryTIme at the Pioneer Leisure Center welfare centreOnline services available from home

There are some great resources for children you can access from home with your library card number and PIN: